Albuquerque


It’s been a few days since writing.  I suppose I can make short journal entries daily.  Blog posts for each City.  I had an awful migraine two days ago, and it lingered yesterday.

The last two days were Albuquerque.  Arriving in Albuquerque was different than any other city so far.  The city is set in a depression in the land.  Most cities have some kind of intimidation factor as you approach, with a dense conglomeration of people competing for whose building is closer to the stars.  From a distance, no area stood out to me.  I found an Anytime Fitness and worked out and cleaned up.  Then I found a Starbucks and did more booking work.  I’ve mass mailed venues in cities through January.

I’ve been on the road for over 3 weeks now.  At times I started to feel unrooted; like I might start to go crazy.  Now I think I am settling into who I am and growing as a performer.

I set up to perform at Santa Fe Brewing Co. Albuquerque Taproom, the winner of the longest name for a bar.  I met this couple who.. meh I don’t want to talk about the couple.  They told me one interesting thing.  The question in Albuquerque is: green or red?  It’s about chili.  A safe answer is Christmas.  Who knows what people gather from that question, but that’s THE question in Albuquerque.  They were a nice couple, very friendly and enthusiastic, just very ordinary.

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Kurt was strange.  I didn’t like him at first.  He was very stiff and even a bit cold.  He seemed to be with the couple, but they left and he stayed.  He ended up being my front row fan and we shared long friendly conversation.  Bought me a beer.  A group of three young men sat at the table with Kurt and drank, cheered, and complimented my performance enthusiastically.  A few of them were young musicians.  Kurt was also a musician, proud of his harmonica ability.  He told me to go to Jemez Springs, where I write this now, a small town a little over an hour outside of Albuquerque.  One thing I learned from this experience is how to spell Albuquerque.

I had a green chili burger.  It was absolutely delicious and I ate it way too fast and I cried.

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It was a successful night.  I pulled in about $75 for 3 hours of work, plus a 6 pack of beer which I’ll give to Kurt if I see him at the open mic he told me to go to in Jemez Springs.  The open mic is at a place called Los Ojos, which has lots of some of the worst one star reviews I’ve seen on Yelp…

The first night I went to an open mic at a place called Winning Coffee.  It was extremely mellow.  Think of the mellowest place you’ve been and double that.  It was one of the strangest open mic nights I’ve been to.  Maybe one of the most authentic.  Still strange.  There were multiple severely physically handicapped people that performed.  One woman read a story.  One guy recited several inspired poems about his Lord and Savior and Jesus Christ.  Basically the same poem 3 times.  One woman sang a song about dinosaurs in the sand.  A man whose skin and hair color were matte beige performed on an electric on an amp he brought.  When I saw the amp and electric, I thought, “Oh boy, there’s always one crappy shredder.”  Nope, he fit right in with more extremely mellow finger picking, leads, and vocals.  It was as if the whole purpose of the event was so that people wouldn’t have to take any medication to sleep.  That said, it was very sweet.  The woman that sang about the dinosaurs became so caught up in the storyteller’s performance, she begged to know the ending!  We ended up doing a second round of performances so the storyteller got to finish and had the dinosaur woman in tears.

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My performances went over very well.  They were strictly originals at this open mic.  I played my brand new one “Is There Any Such Thing As Coincidence?”, “I Hope I Win Back Your Heart With This Song”, and “My Family Loves Me”.  Since the stage was set for extremely mellow, I slowed tempos down and sang softly, accentuating much less than usual.  While my performances were met with an enthusiastic audience, the host didn’t want to show appreciation.  Meh.  Hosts.  So many different kinds.  Several people bought my CD and several people offered kind compliments.  When I performed “Is There Any Such Thing As Coincidence?”, I completely forgot the second pair of verses.  Without missing a beat, I improvised lyrics about forgetting and how I will remember next time, sung with the same feeling I give the original words.  The matte beige man said it was like floating off to a dream.

Speaking of dreams, I have had a bountiful supply of the lucid kind.  Some nightmares, some pleasant ones.  What has been particularly interesting is that I have had many dreams that have surprised me.  Like when I lived in Argentina, and I couldn’t speak Spanish well, but characters in my dreams were fluent.  In the midst of some lucid dreams, I am certain a character will act one way, or the dream will take a certain course, and I’m wrong.  About my own dream.  Anyway, something of interest to me happened yesterday.  The woman I wrote As I Remember You about, posted on my Facebook page, simple words.

A few days ago as I was driving to Albuquerque, I made a video in which I spoke about the bartender I met at the State Bar in Flagstaff.  She wore plaid.  She moved with some force in her step.  She loved beer.  She reminded me of the girl in the song.  I met that girl at a brewery in Nashville, a place with a similar ambiance.  She wore plaid, walked strong, and had a true passion for beer.  Last night, I had intense dreams, one of which featured her, the girl that dumped me many years ago.  In this dream, she reached out to me again.  She was interested in a relationship.  She wanted one, and she thought she wanted me.  Though I still have a weakness for her, I had a question that needed to be answered and probably couldn’t be answered the way I’d want.  You left me in my weakness, why should we reunite in my strength?

I wake up from the dream.  Can’t sleep.  Check my Facebook, and I couldn’t believe my eyes, She had left a comment.  I never thought I’d hear from her again.  What an unpredictable life.  I do love that girl.  I wonder how she is.  I wonder if it is dangerous for me to reconnect?  Just days after I wrote a song called “Is There Any Such Thing As Coincidence?”  And while I was filling up on gas thinking about my plans for reconnecting, my gas cap fell from a flat surface and landed smack-dab on my toes.  I winced in pain.  Is there any such thing as coincidence?  Or was my gas cap reminding me what pain feels like so I’ll be more sensible.

On to Jemez Springs.